Blast chillers are well-suited for operations with limited production space, since product can be made ahead of time and reheated as needed.
Operators need to first determine food volume before choosing which size unit is appropriate. Blast chillers are sized by the number of pounds that can be accommodated at one time. Units typically use 2-inch deep pans that hold about 10 pounds of product. If product is not properly sized to the pan, the cooling process, and food safety, may be compromised.
Consider the available space when specifying a blast chiller. Operators can choose from undercounter, countertop and stand-alone units, in addition to roll-in and reach-in models. High-volume operations are best-served with roll-in units or a blast chilling room that is built into a walk-in.
The menu should be considered when choosing a blast chiller type. More delicate food like bakery items is better-suited for a softer chill process that is more gradual, while meat and other heartier products can withstand a hard chill that brings food temperatures down to an almost frozen state more quickly.
Data Recording Capability:
Blast chillers offer different data recording capabilities for Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP) documentation, with the method dependent on the model. A unit may utilize a printer that records information on paper, a data port that can be used to upload reports to a computer or a USB drive for downloading temperature details on a portable storage device. When specifying these systems, operators should consider which method will work best in their operation.